travaz
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Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:21 am

This is interesting and of course just a patent at the moment. Wonder how it would feel to sit in the baggage compartment to fly?
Interesting concept.

Link to story:
http://gizmodo.com/airbus-eh-pilots-...windows-1599899678/+ashleyfeinberg
 
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hufftheweevil
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:54 am

If you think about it, it's quite practical with today's technology. When you're flying in IFR conditions, and performing a Cat III approach, you might as well forget that you have windows. With synthetic vision systems already being used, they just need to become more dependable with redundancy built in. And TCAS and ADS-B have greatly improved collision avoidance.

I'm curious to see some numbers as to fuel savings from a smooth nose vs. a windowed nose.

And as to position of a windowless cockpit, I think the nose section is still appropriate. It happens to be a great shape for the necessary people and equipment. The 747 nose is evidence that it's not really useful for much else. (A closet is about your only choice...was/is the 747 nose used for anything else by other operators?) I kind of like the vertical stabilizer idea, too. For thin stabs, you could place the seats in tandem.

All that being said, it wouldn't be near as fun for pilots in my opinion.
Huff
 
travaz
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:58 am

I agree with your sentiments and possibilities. I think the younger generation is so used to computer games, large screens ,and 3D , that they might be ok with flying a plane like this.
 
airindia787
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:20 am

And what would happen if the technology were to fail? What would the pilots do in that situation? This is in the same boat as unmanned passenger aircraft in my opinion, a neat concept to some, but too many issues to make it a viable option.

Quoting travaz (Reply 2):
I agree with your sentiments and possibilities. I think the younger generation is so used to computer games, large screens ,and 3D , that they might be ok with flying a plane like this.

I disagree completely. I would not go anywhere near such a plane.
 
travaz
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:28 am

Quoting travaz (Thread starter):
I disagree completely. I would not go anywhere near such a plane.

I am not saying I disagree with you but there may not be a choice in the future. Maybe even drone type aircraft with no pilots. However I believe I will be long gone from this earth before that happens.
 
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:37 am

Quoting hufftheweevil (Reply 1):

yah, no, no its not practical with todays technology. We have pilots that can't fly aircraft when all the gauges are working AND they can see out the window to help aid in not hitting the ground.

I can't image the stupid that will happen with a display glitch in a cockpit without windows.

Aircraft are designed to a massively higher standard than cars. We don't drive windowless cars. We don't even have windowless locomotives and they hardly can wander off and find a ditch to crash in without massive failure at the controls.
 
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:39 am

Quoting hufftheweevil (Reply 1):
I'm curious to see some numbers as to fuel savings from a smooth nose vs. a windowed nose.

The biggest saving will probably be on sunglasses for the pilots. And maintenance on windscreen wipers.

Apart from that there will be savings on newspapers and Scotch tape. Pilots flying against the sun will no longer need to glue old newspapers to the front windows.

This new patent is likely an idea to overcome the fact that in the future newpapers on paper will be hard to find. It isn't very practical to glue an iPad to the windscreen to block the sun.
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hufftheweevil
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:47 am

Quoting airindia787 (Reply 3):
And what would happen if the technology were to fail? What would the pilots do in that situation?

As long as the instruments are still working, even standby/backup ones, you could fly it just as if you were in Cat III IFR conditions.

Also consider the rare situation of when a bird strike hits the windows and obstructs some or all of the windows. Most aircraft have still landed in these cases.

I think if the technology can be proven to be highly dependent, that the rare case where it fails would not totally inhibit the pilot from landing the aircraft.
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 2:36 am

Point of clarification: this is a patent application. It is not a patent, at least not yet.
With that said, I don't think it is non-obvious, so I doubt it would ever become a patent.
 
travaz
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 2:40 am

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 6):
This new patent is likely an idea to overcome the fact that in the future newpapers on paper will be hard to find. It isn't very practical to glue an iPad to the windscreen to block the sun.

IMO that's the best thing you can do with a iPad.      
 
asetiadi
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 2:54 am

It's not going to happen and FAA won't even allow it.
 
celestar
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 3:00 am

If this is the case for no window for the cockpit, I guess Ray Bann can forget about selling its sunglass to the airlines pilots!
The iconic name Aviator will no longer be valid - well unless, it is for fighter jet pilots like the Top Gun!
Quite an interesting development.
 
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Francoflier
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 3:08 am

Wasn't one of the manufacturers (Boeing, possibly) toying with the idea, yers ago, when the prospect of a Concorde replacement was still being considered?

I remember drawings of a windowless nose, which allowed for better aerodynamics and removed the complexity and weight of the fold down Concorde system, behind which sat the pilots in front of their screens.

It would be a very strange idea to get used to, but there is no reason it could not practically work, eventually.

The best thing about it is that the pilot would be immersed in a composite panoramic view, which could be augmented by IR, artificial terrain rendering, integrated flight instruments... Looking down at instruments and up throught a tiny window would be a thing of the past, as well as IFR flight. The situational awareness of the pilots would be greatly increased.

You'd want a hell of a reliable screen though...
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lpdal
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 3:17 am

Although not strictly commercial, nearly all UAVs such as the Reaper drone are examples of aircraft without cockpit windows. In that case, forward visibility for the operators in the "trailer cockpit" on the ground is achieved through video feeds on the bottom of the hull. Has any airliner experimented with video feeds instead of windows?

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TWA772LR
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 4:07 am

I am not OK with this. I have a problem with planes being 100% glass (no analog art. horizon., altimiter, or speed gauge). Take away a pilots view of the outside, and that just doesn't make sense.
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AngMoh
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 4:32 am

It seems that nobody looked at the original patent application and a lot of people don't understand the patenting process. The patent is a strong one from a patent perspective. It talks about extending the view of the pilot by extending the real view with a virtual view. It also talks about correcting the view when windows are placed in a position which is aerodynamically better but worse from a visual perspective. The windowless plane is probably an extreme example put in by the patent lawyer, but extending the view of the pilot by adding cameras looking at the wing tips and adding an display behind the last window would also be covered by this patent. A window which becomes a HD screen when active and when it fails it becomes a normal window again would also be covered by this patent.

Some of the best patents are very wide ranging concepts while some of the worst patents are very specific ones as they effectively tell you how to circumvent them.
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 5:13 am

Quoting asetiadi (Reply 10):
It's not going to happen and FAA won't even allow it.

Less than 100 years ago, people believed they would suffocate if they went more than 30mph in a train.

It's almost inevitable that we'll end up with 'artificial vision' or 'vision enhancement' in planes, or pilots wearing some sort of VR goggles. I certainly don't see it as impossible that we will end up flying in planes with less than two pilots (and that includes none!)
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CXfirst
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 5:19 am

Quoting travaz (Reply 2):
I think the younger generation is so used to computer games, large screens ,and 3D , that they might be ok with flying a plane like this.

Well, sitting behind a screen to land an aircraft is not what brings young people into the industry. Sitting up front with the view does.

-CXfirst
 
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Aesma
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 5:35 am

In my opinion it will happen eventually, and even old timers will adopt it, because the rendered image will be ultra HD 3D etc. Of course I'm not sure on-board pilots will still exist by then.

As a kid I saw myself piloting space ships, I still do (still on videogames though) and in outer space windows just don't make sense, they're a liability, you get irradiated, etc.
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AvObserver
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 5:41 am

Quoting hufftheweevil (Reply 1):
I'm curious to see some numbers as to fuel savings from a smooth nose vs. a windowed nose.

Interesting to contemplate but I'd venture to say that in most cases, assuming the windowless nose retains the same basic shape as the windowed one, the drag differential is probably next to negligible. I doubt there'd be much benefit there.
 
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 6:17 am

Quoting scbriml (Reply 17):
It's almost inevitable that we'll end up with 'artificial vision' or 'vision enhancement' in planes

  

It will be safer and more efficient.
And it's all a matter of time.
Everybody who says it "wont happen" or "I wont go near that thing" are to become obsolete, or even extinct, professionally when it does.
But don't worry ... we'll all have plenty of time to tune our consciousness'.

Drones will eventually be the most efficient and safe step.
It's even happening with cars as we speak.
Of course there will be accidents, but it will occur much more seldom than now.
With built-in disaster recoveries for every event that you can think of except ... pilot error.
 
RedChili
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:10 am

Quoting travaz (Reply 4):
there may not be a choice in the future.

If we assume that Airbus will actually offer such an airplane, the airlines will have the first choice. Airbus will basically have to find a handful of airlines that will be willing to risk their existence on being the first airlines in the world to offer flights on an airplane where the pilots can't see a thing out the cockpit windows. Which major airline in the world would be willing to take such a risk?

The negative press coverage that the 787 have received would be a walk in the park compared with a windowless airplane. All journalists would love to point out everything that can go wrong. How many people would be willing to buy tickets for that airplane, when all other airplanes are "old" technology where the pilots can actually see what they're doing?

No, this is never going to happen.
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Francoflier
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:59 am

Quoting LPDAL (Reply 13):
Has any airliner experimented with video feeds instead of windows?

Don't think so, but it wouldn't be very difficult for Boeing or Airbus to take a test airframe and setup a virtual cockpit in the back, with a backup crew sitting in the cockpit with full override authority.

Quoting RedChili (Reply 23):
, when all other airplanes are "old" technology where the pilots can actually see what they're doing?

The irony is that a virtual cockpit could potentially let pilots see what they're doing a lot better than a windows and some instruments. As I said above, the possibilities for the integration of flight instruments in the display, itself augmented and offering much wider visualization than a window, are enormous.

The only hurdle here is a psychological one. I think the safety of such a system, provided appropriate redundancies, could relatively easily be demonstrated to the authorities in time.
Still, we won't be able to board such an aircraft just yet. But I could see potential application for military aircraft. Imagine a military cargo plane in which you can safely hide the cockpit crew deep in the airframe, behind armored bulkheads and floors.
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 8:38 am

Quoting francoflier (Reply 23):
Don't think so, but it wouldn't be very difficult for Boeing or Airbus to take a test airframe and setup a virtual cockpit in the back, with a backup crew sitting in the cockpit with full override authority.

NASA had the 737 prototype in service for many years with a virtual flight deck just forward of the wings that had the ability to fully control the aircraft. So it's already been done.

If this goes forward, it seems like a logical step where aircraft are going to become UAVs to the point of no on board flight crew except for maybe a single pilot and the FAs. That way if anything goes wrong, the on board pilot can take over using a virtual cockpit but the folks on the ground would handle it the majority of the time. It would probably help out a ton in eliminating crew scheduling issues...but then you will need facilities with these huge virtual reality setups.

http://www.museumofflight.org/files/imagecache/lightbox/Boeing-737_130_P2C.jpg

[Edited 2014-07-04 01:39:54]
 
aviatorcraig
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:07 am

Just think, you will be able to get type-rated on the simulator by doing time on the real world plane!  

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 5):
We don't even have windowless locomotives and they hardly can wander off and find a ditch to crash in without massive failure at the controls.

No, they have widows for the pax, but no driver.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Docklands_Light_Railway

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Plane_Train
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flyingturtle
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:47 am

This windowless cockpit idea was actually put forward by pilots. So that they won't have to see the new "JetNaked" planes.

JetNaked And Canada Jetlines Want To Start (by ridgid727 Jul 3 2014 in Civil Aviation)


David
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breiz
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 11:30 am

Heard about drones?
The pilot is not even in it, and still it flies thousands miles away.

Following the same path, passengers will no longer need to seat in planes. They will fly virtually. Quite a saving for all involved.
 
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Francoflier
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 11:55 am

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 24):
NASA had the 737 prototype in service for many years with a virtual flight deck just forward of the wings that had the ability to fully control the aircraft. So it's already been done.

Interesting. The setup looks like a space shuttle emulator/trainer. Is that what it was?
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
c680
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:02 pm

Uh, not to point out the obvious, but....

...you do realize we do all of our training in a cockpit without windows, right?

It's called a simulator.
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bevisisback
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:08 pm

Could see windscreens being removed and replaced with monitors, I doubt the cockpit would move though. Put it downstairs and its taking up valuable cargo space. Vertical stab seems a bit more likely.

There isn't very much they could do with the extra space at the front anyway as (IIRC) the regs state that you can't have rev seats past the front most exits, which is why the 747 with seats in the nose would not get certified if it was designed today. The nose is probably the most logical space for a cockpit.
 
slcguy
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:37 pm

Forget it! Even without considering the flight aspect, pilots can't even taxi around airports without clipping wingtips as it is. Current technology and airport layouts won't allow this.
Oops! Just realized this story was about a statement from someone at Airbus, scary!

[Edited 2014-07-04 05:43:33]

[Edited 2014-07-04 05:45:48]
 
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scbriml
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:43 pm

Quoting SLCGuy (Reply 33):
Forget it! Even without considering the flight aspect, pilots can't even taxi around airports without clipping wingtips as it is. Current technology and airport layouts won't allow this. What teenage A-net geek came up with this idea?

You would seem to be adding to the case for not needing cockpit windows.   
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starrymarkb
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:06 pm

Quoting aviatorcraig (Reply 26):
No, they have widows for the pax, but no driver.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Docklan...ilway

The French VAL systems take it even further, the Docklands still has a trained driver on board (The Train Captain) who normally does ticket checks and the doors, but can drive the train if required using controls in a cabinet at the front. VAL systems are completely unmanned apart from the passengers!
 
m1m2
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:12 pm

Quoting hufftheweevil (Reply 1):
I'm curious to see some numbers as to fuel savings from a smooth nose vs. a windowed nose.

Not sure about the fuel savings, but I know windshields are very expensive, heavy and a source of failures. The heating elements/sensors fail requiring replacement of the windshields. I would think this would be a big cost saving over the life of an aircraft.
 
Unflug
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:27 pm

Quoting aviatorcraig (Reply 25):
No, they have widows for the pax

How do they find so many widows?

 
Quoting breiz (Reply 28):
Following the same path, passengers will no longer need to seat in planes. They will fly virtually. Quite a saving for all involved.

Perfect! I'll start a virtual airline right away  
 
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:29 pm

Quoting hufftheweevil (Reply 1):
If you think about it, it's quite practical with today's technology. When you're flying in IFR conditions, and performing a Cat III approach, you might as well forget that you have windows.

How bout the 95% of the time that you are looking out the window? How does that fit in to the windowless cockpit?

I have 30 years of flying left (God Willing I'm alive and well) and one of the things I am NOT concerned with is being displaced by pilotless drones.

For those of you that think our FAA and ATC are rapidly moving towards technology, I regularly shoot VOR approaches into one of the busiest airports in the world.

And I regularly sit in line for takeoff for well over an hour when a T Storm cell closes one fix and all of our technology can't figure out how to re route planes without waiting for a verbal clearance from an over taxed Clearance Delivery Controller.

And I regularly wait long periods to talk to an over worked Ground Controller and find myself stepping on or getting stepped on on a boring old radio frequency.

So, for those reasons, I am not worried about Delta Drone 73 taxiing out via a GPS system controlled by a pilot in a windowless cockpit or warehouse in a field outside Atlanta anytime soon.

Let's fix the basics first before we reinvent the wheel  
 
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EPA001
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:48 pm

Quoting scbriml (Reply 16):
It's almost inevitable that we'll end up with 'artificial vision' or 'vision enhancement' in planes, or pilots wearing some sort of VR goggles. I certainly don't see it as impossible that we will end up flying in planes with less than two pilots (and that includes none!)

We have already cars with infrared vision. Soon the automated driving cars will be certified and released for official use on the public roads. No doubt they can make install technology in civil aviation that will enable the aircraft to be flown fully automated including taxiing.
 
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rotating14
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 2:26 pm

So let's say that another bird strike over a heavily populated area like NYC happens and disables one or both engines. What then? Do you think looking out of the window is unnecessary then? What about when the pilots from OZ tried to land the 772ER in SFO that day. Sans windows right? What you gain in fuel efficiency, whatever that is, can't be better than a pilot being able to visualize his outside environment in case of an emergency and determine what the next course of action is.

Drones. Drones are great but drones don't make decisions on their own. They still need input from a human being.
 
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Boeing778X
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 2:41 pm

Quoting travaz (Reply 4):
I am not saying I disagree with you but there may not be a choice in the future. Maybe even drone type aircraft with no pilots

I'm not riding in any plane that doesn't have a live human being at the helm!
No Sir!
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billreid
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 2:54 pm

Where this would be a total no is in the event of a crash or emergency operation or hi jack or terrorist activity. There is a need to see what is going on on the ground elsewhere. Video systems do not have the move-ability of a head on a swivel. As long as lives are involved human eyes will be needed.
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Heinkel
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 3:08 pm

Nothing new.

Please remember that the Spirit of St. Louis was built without cockpit windows to the front and Lindbergh could look ahead only through a periscope.

History tells that it worked.

Replace the small periscope by a modern camera-monitor system and it will work even better.

[Edited 2014-07-04 08:16:18]
 
Q
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 3:15 pm

It is very stupid! If computer crashed no seeing real window. How do you fly without window if computer is down? Dumb dumb dumb!!!               


Q
 
global2
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 3:30 pm

Quoting Heinkel (Reply 42):

But he could still look out the sides, and stick his head out the window if he needed.
 
giblets
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 3:35 pm

Whilst not strictly having no windows, the TU-144 (and Concorde prototypes) were basically blind looking forward once the nose was up, guessing there is a decent aerodynamic advantage for removing them, certainly there is for weight.

The 737 removed the cockpit 'eyebrow' windows and dropped around 10kgs off the aircraft weight by just blanking them off (probably more if you could remove the 'frame' totally), works out at quite a bit in fuel and over 300 hrs in schedule maintenance.

Multiply that for the whole cockpit and add some aerodynamic gains (even leaving just one 'safety' window for the pilots) would save a huge amount.
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 4:18 pm

I like the idea of adding artificial windows to the real ones for seeing more than can be seen out the windows. And artificial vision for IFR conditions, especially during landing, is a great idea. The idea of doing away with windows completely, not so much. Windows do not fail when electronics crap out. As to the aerodynamics, aren't the windows in the 787 and the A350 contoured to vastly improve the aerodynamics? Yes, it is expensive, but so is everything else on an airliner.
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WingBuff
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 5:16 pm

I'm not sure. If I were a pilot, I'd need a window no matter what. I need to see where I'm going, I don't want to rely on a computer which you never know when would malfunction. I know that technology is getting more and more advanced each year, but it will never replace human eyes and nature. I'm all for progress, but I don't want end to up flying blind in a bad situation. I get the feeling that Airbus is putting too much emphasis on technology each year.

[Edited 2014-07-04 10:19:48]

[Edited 2014-07-04 10:22:37]
 
airproxx
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 5:36 pm

Airbus already has a long tradition of building planes that are not for pilots....!   
If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same
 
airproxx
Posts: 414
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:07 pm

RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 5:37 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 44):
I like the idea of adding artificial windows to the real ones for seeing more than can be seen out the windows. And artificial vision for IFR conditions, especially during landing, is a great idea. The idea of doing away with windows completely, not so much. Windows do not fail when electronics crap out. As to the aerodynamics, aren't the windows in the 787 and the A350 contoured to vastly improve the aerodynamics? Yes, it is expensive, but so is everything else on an airliner.

On a more serious note, I totally agree.
If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same
 
airproxx
Posts: 414
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:07 pm

RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 5:45 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 44):

That said, I believe that future improvements for IFR condition flights will lead to glasses integrated HUD, so the enhanced synthetic vision will offer a more ergonomic experience, at a (probable) cheaper cost.
If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same
 
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glideslope
Posts: 1557
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RE: Airbus Patents Plane With No Cockpit Windows

Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:40 pm

Interesting concept. Just one favor, eh? All test flights over sparsely populated geography.   
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